When you’re a kid hugs are something you really enjoy, right? Well, there might be some benefits behind that hugs offer that you might not be aware of. 

According to research, it seems that hugs provide a lot for us in our younger years. They make us feel more secure and help us when emotional, yes, but they do more than just that. According to The Cleveland Clinic, hugging children actually helps their brains to develop. This meaning kids who get hugged a lot as children might be smarter than those who are deprived of such. 

Cleveland Clinic wrote as follows on this topic:

Everyone needs a good hug every now and then. And, according to Emily Mudd, Ph.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children’s, when we hug our children, it actually helps them regulate their emotions, and helps their brains develop.

“We know that even from the moment we’re born, that touch, physical touch, attention, and hugs, are so very important for both nervous system regulation, and brain development,” she said. “From the moment we’re born – we talk about kangaroo care and the importance of skin-to-skin contact and that really continues through childhood.”

Dr. Mudd said research has shown that when we receive a hug, our brains release oxytocin – which is the ‘feel good’ brain chemical.

She said receiving a hug can also help children manage stress, by calming the release of cortisol – which is the stress hormone.

When a child is having a ‘meltdown’ or is overly stressed, Dr. Mudd said giving them a hug can help them calm down.

When kids receive warmth and affection from their parents at a very young age, research has shown they are more likely to have greater resiliency, get better grades, and have better parent-child relationships into adulthood.

Don’t get me wrong, not all children are the same and some aren’t going to be as interested in hugs as others and that’s fine but knowing how to show your kids affection and care overall in ways that work for them can make a huge difference in their lives as well as their development. Honestly, hug them while you can because as they grow up they may decide this kind of thing just isn’t something they’re interested in anymore. Make the most of the opportunities before you and show your children that you care, above all else. 

Research published years ago went over this interesting topic and really brought a lot to the table. This study carried out by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio and published in the journal Current Biology basically found that embracing your babies is good for their brains. It was noted as being necessary for helping with the development of a lot actually.

While that study mostly focused on premie babies, it’s important to be aware of overall. Love is something that works in strange ways and showing affection to your kids is not something you should avoid doing. Cuddling and hugging them when they’re young might be something others consider as a bit overbearing but that in itself varies from person to person. 

Oxytocin as noted above helps our minds in a lot of ways and plays a big role in our memories and how our brains end up functioning overall. This is not something we should overlook. I know, there is more research that has yet to be done on this but things really seem quite prominent in this area. 

To learn more about all of this take a look at the video below. What do you think about all of this? I, for one, think it only makes sense to hug your kids. 

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